The Art of Fence and the Sense of Masculine Space

  • Jennifer Low
Part of the Early Modern Cultural Series book series


This chapter analyzes late-sixteenth-century fencing manuals in order to articulate the assumptions about spatiality derived from early modern fencing and duelling; the analysis both defines the sense of gender implicit in these spatial assumptions and enables us to consider how these spatial assumptions may enter into the drama. Our focus shall be what Gail Kern Paster calls “the subjective experience of being-in-the-body” (3). Although fencing manuals only give information about a specific social group, they may be contextualized through comparison with more general directives in courtesy manuals and, as we shall see in Chapter Three, through contrast with directives addressed to well-born women.


Body Language Bodily Awareness Personal Space Early Modern Period Property Interest 
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© Jennifer Low 2003

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  • Jennifer Low

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